Click to enlarge: if only the actual book were so easy to read!
Here, ladies and gentlemen, with the permission of the publisher Robert Chaplin, is the entire text of the smallest book ever produced, Teeny Ted from Turnip Town. The book was produced in association with nanotechnologists Dr. Li Yang and Dr. Karen L. Kavanagh from Simon Fraser University, and is so small that when you look at the plain sheet of polished silicon on which it is carved, you cannot see anything but the scratches laid down by the point of a diamond so that the electron microscope can navigate. That is the huge rut in the image above; the finest scratch visible to the naked eye. The eye does not register this thirty-page book, even as a tiny speck. It is an invisibook, unless, that is, one happens to be carrying in one’s book bag a scanning electron microscope, which possibility we at the ol’ raincoaster blog are not prepared to deny on a categorical or any other basis. We know our readers are a tricksy bunch, yo.
Teeny Ted from Turnip Town is a tale of triumph, a story of success. Ted grows the biggest turnip; Ted wins the Biggest Turnip contest.
Ah, if only life were that simple.
Chaplin points out, rightly, that we do not know the mysterious Ted‘s back story; we don’t know if he poisoned the other turnips, if he’s obsessed with size because he’s so short, or if winning the prize won him the heart of his true love. Back story be damned! Ted grows the biggest turnip, Ted wins the contest.
End of story.
The book is available from the publisher (contact him here) in a limited edition of one hundred copies, for $20,000. As it can be read only by those who can afford to have a spare scanning electron microscope lying around, price should be no object.
Suggested additional reading: Leaf by Niggle, by JRR Tolkien.